Pasta, Pizza, Risotto, Vegan/Vegetarian

Rice with Peas and Carrots

Nicoletta May 25, 2020

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Rice with Peas and Carrots, Riso con Piselli e Carote, a simple, tasty, and nutritious recipe that we love to make for lunch on rotation, almost every week. When fresh sweet peas make their appearance at the market, I rejoice because they are one of my absolute favorite vegetables. 

Song of the day: Put a Little Love In Your Heart – David Ruffin

Rice with peas and carrots-in two plates

Unlike risotto, here you cook the vegetables and the rice separately, then you let them mingle in a wonderful embrace. Simple, delicious flavors, in a great seasonal recipe that will win your heart.

 

 

Spring peas

If you’re anything like me, you believe that fresh peas are one of the joys of Spring. I not only like to eat them, but I also like to shell them. I open the pod and with my thumb make the peas fall into a bowl, like beads from a broken necklace. I don’t know if it’s the sound or the manual activity that I find so relaxing and not in the least boring. Then, I like to eat them fresh or freeze right away in sealed bags or Tupperware containers. 

By all means, when fresh peas are not in season, as a personal preference I choose frozen peas, followed by peas in a glass jar, and hardly ever, peas in a can. 

Rice with peas and carrots-piselli

Let the peas shine

In all my recipes, I let the fresh peas be the star of the show. When we are not making pea barley risotto, rice and peas is our next favorite option. Here, together with the peas, we have leeks and carrots, a delightful combination.

The steps

  1. Firstly, in a small saucepan or saute pan, add the oil, the chopped vegetables, and a little water. Then, add salt and pepper to taste and cook on low/medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until slightly tender but still with some bite to them.
  2. Next, add the peas to the vegetables, stir, and top with water just to cover them.
  3. Put the lid on and stirring/checking from time to time, cook until peas are tender.

The rice

When I’m in Italy, in our pantry there is always Carnaroli rice, which, in our opinion, makes the best risotto. The other type of rice we have is Arborio. For this dish, either one of them would work.

My family always measures rice in a glass. Our full glass of rice is a serving for 4 people and it’s about 220g, a heaping 1 cup.

Rice with peas and carrots-rice

  The rice meets the veggies

  •  At this point, add water to another pot and a pinch of coarse salt. Bring it to a boil, then add the rice. Cook the rice, stirring once in a while, al dente or to your liking. On the whole, the rice has to be neither too dry nor too watery but you will need a little of the rice water to create the creaminess.
  • Next, add the peas/carrots to the pot, stir, add the Parmigiano (if using).
  • Lastly, stir again, then let sit for a couple of minutes to blend and release the starchy creaminess.

It looks delicious!

Finally, the peas and carrots are nicely blended in the rice. Look at that perfect texture. We are getting hungry, over here, cannot wait to plate it and eat it. We added Parmigiano, but not butter as we would do in a risotto. Just omit if you want to keep it vegan.

Rice with peas and carrots-in the pot

All in all, there’s everything I like in that bowl. Starchy al dente rice, soft, sweet, and tasty vegetables. This Rice with Peas and Carrots is perfectly creamy and oh so satisfying. Fork after fork it brings a smile to my face and makes my heart content.

Rice with peas and carrots-two plates and parmigiano

Ultimately, it is easy and fairly quick to make, full of nutrients and flavor. I’m sure, every time fresh peas are in season, you will make it often just like us.

Song of the day: Put a Little Love In Your Heart – David Ruffin

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Rice with peas and carrots-in two plates

Rice with Peas and Carrots

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main, Vegetarian
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Unlike risotto, here you cook the vegetables and the rice separately, then you let them mingle in a wonderful embrace. Simple, delicious flavors, in a great seasonal recipe that will win your heart.


Ingredients

  • 200 g shelled fresh peas (or frozen, when not in season)
  • 1 carrot (about 70 g), chopped
  • 1/2 leek (about 50 g) or onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp evo oil
  • 3 1/24 cups of water to cook the rice + more for the vegetables
  • a pinch of coarse salt
  • 200220 g Arborio or Carnaroli rice (about 1 heaping cup)
  • Parmigiano or Grana (optional)

Instructions

  1. Shell the peas and wash them. Clean the carrot and leek and chop them.
  2. In a small saucepan or saute pan, add the oil, the chopped vegetables, and a little water. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook on low/medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until slightly tender but still with some bite to them.
  3. Next, add the peas to the vegetables, stir, and top with water just to cover them. Put the lid on and stirring/checking from time to time, cook until peas are tender.
  4. Add 3 1/2 – 4 cups of water to another pot and a pinch of coarse salt. Bring it to a boil, then add the rice.
  5. Cook the rice, stirring once in a while, al dente or to your liking. On the whole, the cooked rice has to be neither too dry nor too watery (you need a little of the rice water to create the creaminess).
  6. Next, add the peas and carrots to the pot with the rice, stir, add the Parmigiano (if using), stir again, and let sit for a couple of minutes to blend and release the starchy creaminess.
  7. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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Rice with peas and carrots-two plates

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20 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Gloria May 25, 2020 at 11:25 am

    I do love rice. The addition of peas and carrots adds texture and flavour. What a great side dish for any day of the week.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 29, 2020 at 11:38 pm

      Thank you Gloria, the flavor is great, so sweet and creamy. Italians, though, do not consider pasta and rice a side dish, but a first course, and always served on its own.

  • Avatar
    Reply Paige May 29, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    Yum, this looks great to me, and I love the fresh peas in the recipe!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 29, 2020 at 11:39 pm

      Thanks! Fresh peas are the sweetest little jewel here. This dish is simple and flavorful.

  • Avatar
    Reply Bernice Hill May 29, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    We haven’t had a feed of fresh peas yet…and I can’t wait!! So sweet and perfect on their own but also good in so many dishes like this simple side.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 29, 2020 at 11:41 pm

      I know, I am always ahead here and when I’m back I will start the season all over again 😉 . It is interesting how you in North America consider rice as a side dish. For us in Italy, risotto and pasta dishes are a first course, served in a bowl, on their own, never with something on the side. 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Denise May 30, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    I do love Spring peas! What a delicious Risotto recipe to try, Thank you for sharing it!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 1, 2020 at 7:24 am

      Spring peas are awesome. Thank you! Hope you try!

  • Avatar
    Reply Leslie May 30, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    I love rice with veggies so I would love to give this recipe a try! Looks like a wonderful, classic dish!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 1, 2020 at 7:26 am

      It is so good! Simple but very flavorful! Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Reply Chandice Probst May 31, 2020 at 8:13 am

    Yum this is the perfect side dish! I love the addition of leeks, they are my favorite!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 1, 2020 at 7:26 am

      Leeks are a great addition. And the rice is so creamy!

  • Avatar
    Reply Marisa F. Stewart May 31, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    What a delicious primo! A perfectly satisfying dish that is so special it doesn’t need a lot of different ingredients to jazz it up. The creamy rice and sweet peas and carrots are enough. I can see why you love the recipe.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 1, 2020 at 7:27 am

      Thank you, Marisa! It is such a flavorful dish! We make it often because we love it 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply EA at The Spicy RD May 31, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    I love the simplicity of this recipe! And, fresh peas are one of my all-time favorites too. I have the best memories of picking and shelling peas at my Aunt and Uncle’s home in Maine, when I was growing up. One of the simple pleasures of life!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 1, 2020 at 7:28 am

      Thanks! Yes, gotta love the simple recipe that still pack a lot of flavor. Happy to hear about the memory and that you love shelling peas too.

  • Avatar
    Reply Jo June 1, 2020 at 4:56 am

    So much better than bland boring rice. This is simply the best way to eat your everyday rice. It looks perfect and delicious!

  • Avatar
    Reply Heidy M June 1, 2020 at 6:02 am

    This recipe for Riso con Piselli e Carote was excellent. The entire family enjoyed it and we will be saving this recipe for future use,

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 1, 2020 at 7:31 am

      Happy to hear that. Thank you!

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